In an Op-Ed piece at the U-T San Diego published on July 5th, entitled “Leadership Must Put People Before Politics”, Faulconer takes Filner to task for ignoring the people’s business, putting politics in front of road repair, neighborhood services, government waste, blah blah blah, declaring that “Filner’s bizarre actions and combative personality now stand in the way of San Diegans getting the government they deserve.”
Claiming that “this isn’t about politics”, and he doesn’t “have a feud with Mayor Filner”, that he’s given Filner the benefit of the doubt,” Faulconer says he can’t stand by any longer and watch “Filner’s antics” breed “political dysfunction and disregard for common sense that ruined our city’s reputation a decade ago”….
Faulconer then lists a litany of issues – that he and the other Republicans around City Hall are now using as their mantra against Filner, the most liberal mayor in San Diego’s history, which include the closed door meeting where Filner’s police escort escorted a deputy City Attorney out of the meeting for being disruptive. The list also includes “forced budget cuts on neighborhood prosecutors”, that Filner “put San Diego jobs at risk”, “spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on an unannounced junket” to France, that Mayor Bob is “eroding San Diego’s integrity.”
Of course, Faulconer doesn’t mention that while he – a city councilman – and his good buddy Mayor Jerry Sanders – were cutting library and recreation center hours, they exempted the City Attorney’s office when using the cutting knife. And now, here comes Filner, who attempts to remove the “exemption” that the Republicans had placed around certain programs, like the City Attorney’s budget. Faulconer was willing to close library doors while expanding City Attorney Goldsmith’s budget. Filner is reversing that – or trying to.
Another issue that Faulconer dances around is this supposed “scandal” that he is trying to puff up, the so-called “pay-to-play scheme with a developer” – meaning the latest Sunroad dust-up. Faulconer, who knows Tom Story – the Sunroad principal – when Story headed up the City’s Development Services department, is making efforts to beef up the controversy. Faulconer’s voice mail machine was supposedly called by Story who left a message indicating the $100,000 that his company was giving was a donation to Filner’s special projects. Why did Story call Faulconer? Faulconer was not involved in the deal. But it was his voice mail message from Story that is being touted as “evidence” of the quid-pro-quid arrangement.
This little fact is indeed adding fuel to the rumor that Filner was set up by the Republicans around this deal – where Filner announced that he was returning the money to Sunroad. Tom Story – a City Hall veteran for many years – knew full well that if his checks appeared to be in return for Filner’s “favors”, Filner would look bad. So, now we have Story, Goldsmith and Faulconer – not to mention their mentor “Papa” Doug Manchester, running full bore against Filner with daily “exposes” against him, all trying to undo the last election.
Faulconer, over the years, did run an office that was accessible by locals whether Republican or Democrat or independent on community and city issues. But now that he is turning into a partisan attack dog, he is quickly losing his veneer as just a down-home boy looking out for his constituents.
Of course, Faulconer wants to pave the way for another Republican – like Lori Zapf – to take his seat in 2014 as he is termed out. And part of the strategy is to beat down the strong Democrats, put them on the defensive, make Filner look bad, and roll out the red carpet for his party and its nominee.
But Faulconer needs to be very careful. He is dissing the people’s mayor, the most popular guy in town, the guy who the voters of Ocean Beach and much of the remainder of his district voted for.
To the contrary, Kevin – this is ALL about politics. Your politics. Your partisan agenda.
You haven’t given Filner the “benefit of the doubt” as he has only been in office a mere 7 months. You are following your party’s talking points – but remember – the voters of San Diego tossed your guy – Carl DeMaio – they didn’t like him or his / your politics.
You, and Goldsmith and Manchester just cannot get over it. Your guy lost.
Now, try to get along with the other kids in the sandbox.